Rose. Thorn. Seed. Guest post by Austin Dixon, L.Ac

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At the end of every year my family spends a weekend with 2 other families to celebrate my husband’s birthday and the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, after we put the kids to bed and all the adults put on PJs, we get some refreshments and gather around the fire to discuss the highlights and lowlights of the previous year and our hopes for the coming year. This little exercise turns into hours of laughter, tears, and inspiration and we call it Rose, Thorn, Seed. It is also something we practice daily in our house and I want to share it with you.

The basic idea of daily Rose, Thorn, Seed is that we each share our Rose of the Day, the best part of the day, our Thorn of the Day, the part we did not like or enjoy, and our Seed for tomorrow, a thought or action we want to plant for the next day. Simple, right? Right. Very simple and very effective when you are looking for a way to get to know your partner better, get your kids to talk to you, or get to know yourself better. You can do Rose, Thorn, Seed by yourself with a pen and paper, mentally over a glass of wine or cup of tea, or with a partner, friend, or your whole family.

My husband and I started this when we lived in Brooklyn, before kids. We were both in school and working 2 jobs and never saw each other. We led completely different lives. I was doing acupuncture, yoga, working as a nanny and dancing, while he was working with computers, making Facebook video games and working on an Off Broadway show. I had as little insight into his world as he did mine. By checking in each day with our Rose, Thorn, Seed it sparked dialogue about things we would otherwise fail to mention about our day. We had been together since college and I started learning new things about this man. This proved to be such a helpful tool for us that we started doing it with our friends on their birthday, New Years, and daily with our kids.

Rose, Thorn, Seed is also a great exercise when you are feel like you need a change but don’t know exactly what that change is. When you aren’t feeling fulfilled with life or your job but you can’t quite pinpoint what is disappointing you. For example, if you want to figure out what kind of job would be good for you, try writing down what made you feel good that day as it relates to your work. Write down what did not make you feel good and what you would like to see happen differently tomorrow. Over a few weeks you may see a pattern to everything listed under your Rose and notice what inspires you the most as well as a pattern to your Thorn. You can use your seed to help direct you to more fulfilling days at your current job or help guide you in a search for a new one.

I hope you find this little exercise as helpful as we do. My desire for you is that you start living a life filled with lots of colorful roses, few thorns, and some new seeds.

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The Holidays…Guest post by Austin Dixon, L.Ac

Hey Folks,

The holiday season is here and in full swing. While all of us might not celebrate the holidays this time of the year we can’t help but be affected by them. This is when schedules get filled with social events (both wanted and unwanted), lots of money is spent, food and drink flow, and expectations are high. No matter how much you love or hate the holidays it is filled with extreme highs and lows. So how do we balance out those extremes? I have a couple thoughts….

Stop making the holidays about gifts. There are so many other beautiful ways to spend your energy. Get creative and do things that feel meaningful to you. Examples…

  • volunteer (there are tons of places looking for help…soup kitchen, public schools, tutoring, local non-profits, arts organizations)
  • have an experience instead of a gift (get together and do something!)
  • write holiday cards to folks that don’t get a lot of attention during the holidays (folks in nursing homes, overseas, jail, the hospital, etc…)
  • deliver treats (food, cards, etc)  to folks who have to work on holidays (fire stations, hospitals, police stations, grocery stores….)

Take care of yourself (and I don’t mean by spending money!).

  • go to bed early
  • eat cooked foods and avoid raw, cold foods
  • take salt baths
  • drink extra water
  • avoid sugar to the best of your ability
  • spend time outside even though it is cold
  • exercise (even 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes)
  • say no when you don’t want to do something and don’t feel guilty about it
  • spend time looking inward and reflecting on the year
  • stretch daily (set a timer to remind yourself to take stretch breaks)
  • if you have the means, schedule acupuncture, massage, or a fun class for yourself

Stop feeling guilty about what you eat. Even though I think sugar is kin to the devil, I truly believe the hateful things we say to ourselves are more damaging. It is really hard to avoid eating foods we view as “bad” over the holidays. Instead of beating ourselves up about it let’s focus on moderation (or not… go to town on that pie!) and use gratitude instead of shame. “I am going to eat this cookie that was made for me out of love.” “I am going to eat this cake in celebration of ________.” Our minds are powerful, let’s not let a cookie destroy our well being.

Do your best to stay in the moment. When the To Do List is long and the days are short it can feel overwhelming and stress gets elevated. Try to stay in the moment by making a gratitude list. You can do this with pen and paper as a daily ritual or simply stop in the moment of frustration and mentally list 5 things you are grateful for. I find that a gratitude list can also be helpful when preparing  yourself for visits with challenging family members or co-workers. Since contact is inevitable over the holidays prepare for the interaction by making a list of their positive qualities and/or ways that your life is possible and/or improved because of this person. Even if this list is short (sometimes very, very short) it can be a useful way to put yourself in a good place before entering a stressful social situation.

I hope you found this post helpful in some way and can have a few more relaxing and gratitude filled moments this holiday season. As an acupuncturist I found it important to write something that might help folks through the holiday stress, but I recognize the place of privilege I am writing from and the people of privilege I am writing to when I suggest people go to bed on time and take epsom salt baths. Not everyone can do that. However, I still believe these things are important to implement if you can. I understand I am not touching on true stresses that come from not having enough money, lack of physical or emotional support, devastating illness, or loss.

Your friendly acupuncturist,

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Holiday Health + Happiness Challenge by Mischa Decker

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It is so easy to fall into unhealthy habits during this time of year- and I am not just talking about eating too many baked goods and not enough kale.  I am talking about…stress + feeling overwhelmed + putting too much pressure on ourselves to make the perfect holiday + a complete abandonment of our exercise routines.  Time goes quickly, schedules are crazy and there is just SO MUCH on our plates (literally AND figuratively!).

While prepping for a week away from my normal routine I began to think of a few small ways to stay centered and healthy this holiday season.  Here is the challenge I set for myself.  I plan to do these FOUR things MOST days of the week.

Will you join me?

  1. Drink plenty of water. I don’t know about you, but I tend to drink more “adult beverages” this time of year than usual.  Between holiday parties and family gatherings, my wine consumption miiiiight go up.  I also tend to drink less water when I am out of my normal routine, so I am making a point to keep my H2O intake UP this year!  **Bonus: add Young Living Lemon Vitality essential oil to your water for a little extra detoxifying and added flavor!
  2. Do the Pilates abdominal series. I know I will be doing less Pilates while traveling, but it is SO easy to take 5 minutes to do the Stomach Series.  If you aren’t familiar with this series of FIVE exercises, check out the video at the end of this post.  Your abs will thank you!
  3. Take a 20 minute walk.  If we make it a priority, we can usually find 20 minutes a day to go for a walk.  Even just a short walk can help clear the mind and invigorate the body!  It is also a great kick-start for the metabolism.
  4. Two minutes of gratitude. This is actually the one that is most important to me.  I have felt incredibly overwhelmed and actually a little down recently and I have noticed a shift in my thinking.  I am usually the cheerleader…”we can do this!” “things are going to be fine!” “this too shall pass!” but recently I have become much more negative.  And I don’t like it.  I know one thing that has helped me in the past is acknowledging all of the MANY things I have for which I am grateful.  And what better time than NOW to be THANKFUL for even the small things in our lives.  Here are a few ways to do your two minutes (or more!) of gratitude:
    • Use all or part of your daily walk to think about the positive things in your life.
    • Take a drop or two of your favorite essential oil in your hands, rub them together, put them to your nose and inhale.  Breathe in the scent and say aloud or to yourself the things you are grateful for at that time. **I use Young Living’s Frankincense and a blend called Abundance most often.
    • Keep a gratitude journal.  You can use bullet points or even just jot down thoughts.  It doesn’t have to be long or perfect writing!

Comment here or on our FB or IG posts and let us know if you are up for the challenge!

Happy and Healthy Holidays!

Achieving Goals with Pilates…Guest post by Riki Shore

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Guest post by Riki Shore

On Sunday October 8th, IOBT client Anne-Claire Broughton will complete her first triathlon, the Ramblin’ Rose, in celebration of turning 50! A lover of challenge and a lifetime learner, Anne-Claire decided to celebrate her half-centennial by doing something active and enabling, and pushing herself to new physical frontiers.

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Ever since she can remember, Anne-Claire said her spine looked “unusual”, but she was only recently diagnosed with scoliosis. “I was always flagged for it when we got checked in school,” she remembers, “but the back pain didn’t come until after my daughter was born, and it intensified later when I had abdominal surgery.” Indeed, when she first walked into IOBT she wasn’t standing straight and tall, and she told me immediately that her back hurt “almost all the time”. And like a lot of mothers, firing the low belly muscles was nearly impossible – those muscles just didn’t seem accessible. More than anything, she came to Pilates to strengthen her deep core.

As her instructor, I build sessions that help her achieve her goals while creating space and length in her spine, pushing her to an edge without ever increasing her pain. We start every session with Footwork on the Reformer (see image below), which wakes up her feet and stabilizes her pelvis while using the deep abdominal muscles that Anne-Claire wants to strengthen. Since she’s not primarily looking to build muscle mass, we keep the spring tension low in order to facilitate smooth, continuous movement and highlight the connection between the spring tension and her Pilates scoop (what is sometimes referred to as “holding the spring with your belly”).

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If asked her favorite exercise, Anne-Claire would say Leg Circles, which she credits with helping to straighten her spine and reduce lower back pain.  We also do this exercise every session using the leg springs on the Cadillac. When we first started, I asked Anne-Claire to “stand” into a block that was pushed against the short box from the Reformer, which I had placed at the end of the Cadillac. I wanted to her to feel a ground beneath her extended leg as a stabilizing force while she circled the other leg exploring both movement and restraint. After several months together, she no longer needs the stabilizing block and can hop onto the Cadillac and go right into the exercise.

We always finish the session with some time draped over the Spine Corrector (see image below), which allows her to explore flexion, extension, side bending and rotation in a safe and supportive way. While there have been ups and downs in her triathlon training as she learns what her spine can tolerate, I can honestly say that Anne-Claire is stronger, leaner, taller and more supple than when we first met.

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Like any busy not-quite-50-year-old, she sometimes experiences stress, fatigue, muscle tightness and pain, but she remains undaunted and committed to what she calls her Body Project. “I love doing things that at first I’m afraid of or I think I can’t do. Then when I do them…that is the best feeling!” I have no doubt she’s going to be feeling that way when she crosses the finish line in Chapel Hill in a few short weeks – and I’m proud to have played a small part in her journey. Thank you, Anne-Claire, for brightening IOBT with your presence!

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Schedule a private session with Riki or any of our instructors:        

919-361-0104         info@insideoutbodytherapies.com

Healthy Mamas: Postnatal Pilates (Part 7)

Contrology is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace, and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk, in the way you play, and in the way you work.

~Joseph Pilates

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I said yes without really thinking about it- which is not uncommon for me.  Some of our Pilates trainees wanted to see a Level 3 Flow…would I do it?  Yes- of course! Wait…can I still do that?!  It has been seven months since Naia was born.  I have been taking regular private Pilates lessons and am feeling pretty good.  Sure- let’s do it!

So with Deborah guiding me and Samantha, we flowed at a decent pace, through the full Level 3 Reformer sequence.  And it felt great!  My body did not fail me and my mind and heart were so happy.  Being on the reformer and doing this work feels like home.  My mind can focus solely on the movement and my body is able to dance.

And I am completely at peace.  Sweaty…shaky…PEACE.

Level 3 Reformer:

Footwork
Hundreds
Short Spine
Coordination
Stomach Massage Series
Swan
Pull Straps
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Backstroke
Teaser
Short Box Series
Long Stretch
Down Stretch
Up Stretch
Elephant
Arabesque
Long Back Stretch
Semi Circle
Chest Expansion
Thigh Stretch
Arm Circles
Long Spine
Knee Stretch Series
Running
Bottom Lift
Side Splits
Front Splits
Front Splits Kneeling
Russian Splits
Jumpboard

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Healthy Mamas: Postnatal Pilates (Part 6)

Mindfulness is Enlightenment itself. You only need a few seconds to get enlightened. To be aware that you are alive, with a body that is strong enough and healthy enough – that is Enlightenment. Our body is a wonder.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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Yesterday was a day full of love…not only was it Valentine’s Day (I actually baked a cake with Z…but that’s another story!), my littlest turned ONE month old, and I returned to the studio (my second home!) for my FIRST postnatal Pilates workout. It was a pretty great day!

I had been patiently waiting to get back in the studio, but was respecting my body and the healing that needed to happen after giving birth.  I am so grateful that I was able to have a peaceful, natural birth, with no complications and am very thankful that I only had a minor split in my abdominals (diastasis recti- a very common issue that happens in pregnant women).  Despite the labor and birth going as smoothly I possible, my body still took time to recover.  Those first couple of weeks were rough! I spent a lot of time resting after giving birth (well, as much as I could with a toddler and newborn!) and began doing abdominal strengthening after two weeks (the Pilates “scoop”, breath work, and small upper ab curls with a very intentional scoop first).

I felt the toll that this second pregnancy took on my body, even more so than the first, and I have been really gentle with myself as I begin the journey to find my new strength.  I will never have the body I had before kids- that would be impossible.  That doesn’t mean I won’t be the same weight or fit into my same clothes, it just means my body is different!  Major changes have happened, but I can still find strength, stability, power, grace, and freedom of movement, just in a new way!  Women’s bodies are AMAZING!  I am in awe of what mine did for me over the past year and I am excited to “Return to Life” as Joseph Pilates would say, through the Pilates system!

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It felt amazing to walk into the quiet studio and lie down on the reformer.  I have missed the sound of the springs, the feel of the foot bar on my feet and the straps in my hands, and the immediate connection to my body and breath that I get from Pilates.   I started on the reformer- it felt great to just be able to lie on my back without getting winded or dizzy!  I found myself getting excited for each exercise…

  • stomach massage- yay!  my belly doesn’t get in the way AS much now!
  • pull straps and T- YES! I can lie on my stomach!
  • elephant- I can feel my deep abs in a safe and strengthening way
  • side splits, Russian splits, front splits kneeling?!- my hips have missed the stretching and strengthening

Like so many things, we gain even more appreciation for something when you step away from it for a while.

I went through a modified Level 3 reformer workout avoiding the more challenging exercises for my outer abdominals such as 100s, teaser, long stretch and short spine. Being completely in tune with myself and my body was like a breath of fresh air- it has been a while since I had the space and time to do that!

Pilates is the perfect system to help heal and retrain the postnatal body.  When the movements are done with integrity and intention, the principles of Pilates promote uniform development of the mind, body, and spirit.

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photo credit: Heba Salama Photography

Healthy Mamas: Prenatal Pilates at 37 Weeks (Part 5)

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We made it!  Full term is considered 37 weeks, and here I am!  I have mixed feelings about being done with this pregnancy: I am ready to feel like myself again, but nostalgic about this likely being my last pregnancy…I can’t wait to meet our baby girl, but would also like to get her birthday a little farther from the holidays!

To be perfectly honest, it has also been a challenging few weeks.  We have been battling one sickness after another in our house which has made everything more difficult, including exercise!  My weekly Pilates lessons have dropped off and I can feel that in my body.  But, I have still been able to do some stretching and movement at the studio and when I can do it, that has felt amazing!

So here it is, Pilates is possible even when VERY pregnant!

Hip strengthening and opening are both a priority as I prep for the labor and delivery process.  The hip muscles also take quite a beating as the pelvic ligaments stretch and feel more lax.  The hip muscles have to do more work to hold everything together!  Therefore, several of my exercises this week revolve around the hips…

As the abdomen gets more and more compressed (baby is now taking up A LOT of space in there!), it becomes even more challenging to get spinal movement.  Kneeling Mermaid on the Low Chair is a wonderful assisted side bend stretch that allows opening of the sides while also working the hips, core and upper body.

The Spine Corrector supports the spine in extension- a position that is tricky to find at this stage of pregnancy!  It is a great place to just breathe, opening the chest and creating more space for the lungs and other organs.  It is also a great place to add some light hand weights for arm circles and other arm motions.

Finally, the Magic Circle Arm Work is a series that can be done throughout pregnancy to help tone the upper body in a standing position.  I had a helper for this one….enjoy some toddler cuteness!

 

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Please feel free to contact me with questions about how to continue your Pilates practice throughout your pregnancy.  Healthy movement IS possible and can help ease some of the discomforts of a rapidly changing body!

www.insideoutbodytherapies.com

 

 

 

Healthy Mamas: Prenatal Pilates at 32 Weeks (Part 4)

Hellooooo THIRD trimester….and all of the aches and pains that can accompany it!  I am 32 weeks pregnant and am definitely feeling the weight gain and changes going on in my body, but again, Pilates has saved me.  It allows me to continue to move, stretch, work and breathe which are all so important for the mind, body and soul anytime, but especially right now!

32 weeks Quad Stretch

Here are a few changes that one might experience in the third trimester:

  • increased ligament laxity as the body prepares for birth
  • pain accompanying increased laxity!
  • heaviness in the front of the body causing strain and tightness in the upper and lower back
  • difficulty finding a comfortable position
  • fatigue due to changes in sleep as well as increased strain on the body
  • swelling
  • pelvic floor weakening
  • digestive issues and shortness of breath due to increase pressure and decreased space for organs such as the diaphragm, stomach and intestines, due to the ever growing uterus!

Again, the Pilates system is amazing for this stage of pregnancy.  The equipment and springs support the body and provide opportunities for movements that aren’t possible in many other forms of exercise or everyday life!

Click on the red links to view the videos and use the “back” button on your browser to return to the post.  Z only made a couple appearances this time.  Enjoy the soothing sounds of the springs in a quiet studio!

Spinal movement is important for a healthy spine and it just feels SO GOOD!  Cat with the Push Thru Bar is a supportive way to get flexion and extension of the spine while also opening the shoulders and upper back.  I modified it slightly to add more lumbar spine flexion by allowing the hips to sit back toward the heals.  Kneeling Mermaid with the Push Thru Bar is a great side body opener.  It creates more space for the ribs and lungs to allow for improved breathing!  Knee Stretches on the reformer incorporates this increased spinal mobility into a more dynamic exercise, using and supporting the openness in the lungs.  The breath supports the movement and the movement supports the breath!

Tricep Press on the low chair promotes decompression of the spine as well as shoulder and chest opening.  Side Arm Series on the reformer is a challenging set of four exercises (I just showed one of each) that I love doing to improve my upper body strength. It also requires hip opening and core control to be able to stay stable on the moving carriage.

The Ped-o-pull, an often forgotten about piece of equipment, was originally developed by Mr. Pilates for a client who was an Opera singer.  The exercises promote chest opening and increased lung capacity.  It is great for pregnant mamas because the exercises are done in standing and as in most Pilates movement, they promote flexibility AND strength! Another exercise that also shows a powerful combination of flexibility and strength is the Plie Press on Paddle Back on the low chair.  This one makes me feel strong and confident in my changing body!

Two other pieces of often underutilized Pilates equipment are the Foot Corrector and the Ladder Barrel.  The feet are so important in balance and support of the whole body and they certainly take a beating during pregnancy!  The foot corrector is a great way to build strength and support from the bottom UP!  Ballet Stretches on the ladder barrel are a stable supported place to get an amazing stretch through all parts of the legs and hips. The hip muscles have to work extra hard to support the increased weight of the upper body while keeping everything together as the ligaments get more relaxed.  It is important to have strong, open hips toward the end of pregnancy to prepare for the birth process.

See you in a couple of weeks!

~Mischa

Healthy Mamas: Prenatal Pilates at 25 Weeks (Part 3)

I am BACK and a little bigger than I was in the last set of videos!  I am now 25 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl Decker and am feeling good (for the most part!).   I am still loving my time in the studio- both teaching AND doing Pilates.  I have been taking private lessons (with some awesome IOBT teachers!), which has been amazing.  It is so great to see all of the things I still CAN do with my growing and changing body!

Hanging Down 25wks

During the second trimester:

  • lying prone (on the belly) is difficult/impossible
  • lying supine (on the back) becomes limited (some doctors will say to avoid it completely- I tend to listen to my body and just change positions when I feel uncomfortable)
  • the joints get more lax (thanks to the hormone, relaxin) making the body less stable
  • the center of gravity is changing every week making balance more challenging
  • weight gain, mainly on the front of the body, puts extra stress on all of the muscles and joints, specifically in the pelvis and back
  • certain movements become more difficult to perform due to all of these limitations

This is QUITE the list of changes and challenges that happen during pregnancy…and it is definitely NOT a complete list!  But the Pilates system and especially the equipment can often provide answers on how to manage many of these changes during exercise.  The versatility of the Pilates system (you can sit, stand, kneel, lie or hang) and the support of the springs allow for complete and varied workouts to be possible!

Click on the red links to view the videos and use the “back” button on your browser to return to the post. Oh… and enjoy the cameos and commentary by my 2 year old.  This wasn’t exactly a “professional” video shoot!

As I mentioned in my last post, strong hips are so important for the pregnant mama.  Since mat and classical reformer footwork are quickly eliminated, Side Lying Footwork on the reformer is an excellent option.  Thanks Samantha Chase for teaching this to me in my last lesson! And as long as your balance is feeling on par, Side Splits are another great option for strengthening the hips.

Opening the chest and strengthening the upper body (in preparation for lots of baby carrying!) are also priorities. Seated Chest Expansion on the reformer, Russian Squats on the Cadillac, and Standing Arm Springs on the Cadillac are great options for attaining both of these goals.

Spinal extension is such a luxury at this point because it is so challenging to find it in everyday life! Swan 1 on Barrel feels amazing and is one of the few places to do swan at this point in the pregnancy. Hanging Down on the Cadillac is one of my favorite exercises, although it does get a bit more challenging each week!

Side bending is another motion that just feels great.  Opening up the sides and the ribs allows for more space for the lungs and organs…all of which get more compressed as the baby grows! I love all of the “Mermaids” on the Low Chair and Cadillac.  Here is Seated Mermaid on the Low Chair.

The Core Align® is a newer piece of equipment designed by a Pilates instructor and Physical Therapist.  It is great during pregnancy because many of the exercises are done in standing. Statue on Wheels is a deceptively challenging exercise that works all of the stabilizing muscles of the spine and core.

And just for fun, Z wanted to do some Pilates with me at the end of our session, so here is Seated Pumping on the Low Chair…with a toddler!

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~Mischa

Contact the studio if you are interested in setting up a Pilates session  919-361-0104   info@insideoutbodytherapies.com

Healthy Mamas: Pre-Natal Pilates at 17 Weeks (Part 2)

Megan’s blog post about her experience with Pilates before, during and after both of her pregnancies was so inspiring!  I had a similar experience with my first pregnancy in 2013.  Pilates helped me get through an amazing time of change in my body and I was able to continue practicing Pilates until a few weeks before having my son.

I am now halfway into my second pregnancy and am so happy to be able to continue my Pilates practice.

Here are a few reasons why I LOVE Pilates during pregnancy:

  • there are so many ways to SAFELY work and feel my abdominal muscles
  • being able to use the equipment to do things I might not be able to do otherwise
  • feeling strong and capable in my body during a time when I often feel out of control of the changes in my body
  • the variety of exercises and modifications that can be done

Although there are many things I am not able to do anymore (and that number will continue to grow as the months progress!), there are still so many things I CAN do.  I thought I would share a few of them with you!

This is not a “how to” video series, but more of a glimpse into what one could do during pregnancy.  Always listen to your body when doing any exercise program, especially during pregnancy!  If you have any questions about whether Pilates is right for you, please consult your trusted healthcare practitioner.

This first series of videos was taken when I was 17 weeks pregnant.  At this point I was starting to “show”, had gained a bit of “preparing for baby” weight, but was able to still do much of my regular activity.

Click on the red links to view the videos and use the “back” button on your browser to return to the post.

The first exercise is a modification on The Hundreds. There are several ways to do this classical Pilates exercise on the mat and equipment.

The Single Leg Circle- Mat and Single Leg Circle- Leg Springs are variations on the classical mat exercise. The support from the springs is really helpful in releasing the hip flexors and allowing for more freedom of movement in the hips and spine.

Since I have stopped doing the upper ab curl, I now do the Ab Series on the Barrel. By having my hips on the small barrel I am able to work my deeper core muscles without straining the more superficial rectus abdominus (RA).  The RA is the muscle that is prone to separation during pregnancy (called diastasis recti), therefore I am careful to avoid any exercises that might contribute to strain on this muscle and its fascia.

Spine Stretch and Saw are both exercises that feel GREAT anytime, but especially during pregnancy. I modified Spine Stretch to add some extension for the spine.  I also modified Saw by limiting the amount of lower trunk rotation.

Hip strength is SO important anytime, but especially during pregnancy. The Side Kicks- Mat and Side Leg Springs are a great way to maintain and build hip strength.

An obvious limitation that can begin anytime in the second trimester is the inability to lie on your stomach!  The timing of when this position starts to feel uncomfortable varies from person to person.  Listen to your body and do what feels right for you!  I was feeling fine being on my belly at 17 weeks, so I continued to do Swan- Mat and Push Thru Bar.

The final series is not from the classical Pilates method, but is often included and feels GREAT! Cat/Cow and Planks stretch the spine and build core strength.

See you again in a few weeks!

~Mischa

Contact the studio if you are interested in setting up a Pilates session  919-361-0104   info@insideoutbodytherapies.com